Most homebuyers in the metro Chicago market go “straight to Zillow or Trulia” to search for homes, not Realtor.com, Chicago Agent Magazine reports in a cover story titled “Can You Live Without the MLS?

The story looks at whether the big third-party listing portals — and apps like one employed by brokerage @properties that allows agents to market listings “in house” before entering them in the MLS — are a threat to the MLS.

The conclusion: Agents who use third-party portals to market properties do so in conjunction with an MLS listing, not instead of one. But the prevalence of  “pocket listings” in the Chicago market is harder to track.

In California, MLS Listings Inc. has documented an increase in the proportion of “off-MLS listings,” and the California Association of Realtors is warning sellers about the drawbacks of not marketing a home through the MLS.

In the Chicago market, MRED CEO Russ Bergeron tells Chicago Agent that “we can’t easily track the volume of off-MLS listings,” so he can’t say whether they’re increasing or not, although low inventories have made pocket listings a hot topic among brokers.

Like other MLSs, MRED requires that listings be entered into its system within 72 hours of a property going under contract, unless the seller has signed a waiver of MLS services.

@properties broker Kati Spaniak tells Chicago Agent that MRED “has implemented some new rules for us regarding pocket listings” requiring that the brokerage fill out a new MLS form on which sellers indicate when their house will be entered into the MLS. Source: chicagoagentmagazine.com

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